UCLA had its best game of the season against Arizona State and then its worst of the season against Utah last week. The Bruins dropped from No. 11 to No. 18 in the national polls, and are fourth in the Pac-12 South Division.
But for defensive lineman Eddie Vanderdoes — one of UCLA’s best defensive players — the Bruins aren&;#39;t in such bad shape.
“It was a wakeup call, I’d say,” the sophomore said Tuesday of the Utah loss. “Being ranked high, I wouldn’t say that got to us at all, but it goes with any football team, you win games and are looked at as a winner, then all of a sudden you lose to a team that you weren’t expected to lose to, it’s like, ‘OK, let’s rally around, let’s get it together, and let’s fix the problems.’ ";;
The Bruins are officially no longer the favorite this weekend. They are 3.5-point underdogs to Oregon at home.
Which is just where Vanderdoes wants to be.
“My whole life, I’ve always liked being the underdog in football,” Vanderdoes said. “It feels better being the underdog rather than the guy on top. When you’re supposed to blow a team out, you don’t want to hear all that. You want to go in there with a chip on your shoulder that goes in there and proves everyone wrong.”
For more Bruins observations, follow Everett Cook on Twitter @everettcook